A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Archive for January, 2014

Imagine That! An Activity Book Giveaway by Janis Silverman, Guest Blogger

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 22, 2014


“Imagine That!An Activity Book Giveaway by Janis Silverman, Guest Blogger” posted by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Did you know that January 25, 2014 is National Seed Swap Day?   When I read this, I thought:  Swap/trade a Seed.  Plant a Seed.  What does the expression to “plant a seed” mean?  http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/plant+a+seed defines “plant a seed” as “to do something that will develop more in the future.” 

I immediately thought of an author I know who encourages children to develop their imaginations.  I contacted Janis Silverman, author of  Imagine That!:  Imagery Stories and Activities and other book titles and she agreed to be a guest blogger here.  Learn more about Janis Silverman at these links:

Copyright Janis Silverman.  2014

Copyright Janis Silverman. 2014

Here is a link to her Amazon Books page http://www.amazon.com/Janis-L.-Silverman/e/B001K8HEEQ

Here is a link to her Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/JanisLSilvermanAuthor

Welcome Janis Silverman!

Thank you for agreeing to share one free activity from Imagine That!:  Imagery Stories and Activities on this post.  Is everybody ready?  Janis is…

Think Green!

You may be ready for spring, but it is still January!

You can imagine spring with the following guided imagery story, “Evergreen Spring.”

You will relax and connect with nature, the beauty of spring and be more open to the world around you.

Read “Evergreen Spring” aloud, very slowly, or ask an adult to read it to you.

 

Evergreen Spring 

Close your eyes and think of spring.

Green is everywhere.

Trees and shrubs bud and leaves appear.

The grass is a blanket of green underfoot.

Vines hang on arbors, sprouting new glossy green leaves and flowers.

Winter is gone, replaced with new plant life of amazing beauty.

You are dazzled with the wonder of spring.

You feel energized and hopeful.

You look forward to months of gorgeous green

Followed by summer fun.

See your connection with nature and life.

You feel alive and excited about each new day.

(Pause; sit a few minutes and picture spring.)

When you are ready, open your eyes.

Remember the beauty and wonder of spring.

You, too, are part of each spring.

Remember all of the images of Evergreen Spring.

Return to these images any time you want

To imagine spring time.

 

Discussion Questions:

1. How is spring important to you?

2. Try writing an analogy to spring or another season. Ex. Spring: green: Winter: white

3. How does the very beginning of spring make you feel?

4. Would you ever return to Evergreen Spring in winter? Explain.

Optional Activity: Leaf Collage

Materials: You will need two pieces of art paper, real or paper leaves made from colored construction paper, two pieces of lined paper, markers, glue  and a pencil.

Select a green leaf. Either trace the leaf or draw one. Cut it out of paper or cloth. Draw and cut out several more leaves, or use a variety of fresh leaves from outdoors to create a leaf collage. Arrange the leaves and glue them to the colored paper.

Follow-up Writing Activity: Write about how spring makes you feel in your journal, or write three to six words about spring on the collage. Share your collage and ideas with a friend.

To Be Registered to Win a copy of Imagine That!:  Imagery Stories and Activities, participate in the following activity: 

Living Plant Alliteration Activity: Think about the trees, shrubs and flowers that will soon bloom in your yard. Choose one of these plants. Write an alliteration sentence about this living plant. (Alliteration repeats the beginning sound of the plant).

Example: Red roses rise up the arbor.  or

Lily loves luscious light.   or

Maple makes miles of marvelous leaves.

 If you’d prefer, you may write a short poem about a living plant.

GIVEAWAY: Submit your alliteration sentence or short poem in the comment section of this blog.

If there are several submissions, Janis will draw a name for the winner on January 30, 2014. The winner of Imagine That! : Imagery Stories and Activities by Janis L. Silverman will be announced by February 1, 2014.  

You can find more of Janis Silverman’s books at her website   http://www.janislsilverman.com  and Amazon Books.  Here’s a title many parents, teachers, and counselors recommend:  

 Help Me Say Goodbye:  Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies.  

A final message from Janis:  I hope you enjoyed “Evergreen Spring” and the activities. Think Green! Spring will be here soon!

Janis L. Silverman, author

Thanks again, Janis.

As always, I thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please stop by again soon and bring a friend.  

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for January celebration information.  For more, check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/january.htm 

Children 14 years old or older may leave a comment.  Thanks for adhering to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

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Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

January 2014 Brings…

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 1, 2014


“January 2014 Brings…” by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Think:  What does the word “January” bring to mind?  New Year’s resolutions, organizing, goal setting, cold weather, winter, all things snow.  Study drawings of snowflakes.  Remind yourself of your unique qualities and beauty.  

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Special Days in January…

  • New Years Day: 1  What will you eat today?  Can you name foods that people eat in hopes of good luck?  Ask friends what traditions they follow for this day.
  • Polar Bear Plunge or Swim Day:  1  This article states that Polar Bear plunges may be extra polar this year.  What does that mean?http://www.pressherald.com/news/NewYearspolarbearplungescouldbeextrapolarthisyear.html
  • Do you know anyone who has ever participated in the Polar Bear Plunge?  Why?  What countries and what states in the US participate in this event?  
  • Bean Day:  5  Do you eat dried beans?  Canned ones?  Frozen ones?  Have you ever picked beans in a garden or field?  Name a story with a bean(s) in it.  Make a list of every variety of bean you can name. Visit a grocery store.  How many more beans can you add to the list?  Consider trying one you’ve never tasted.
  • Bubble Bath Day: 8 Name three things that make bubble baths fun.  When was the last time you had one?  Did you sing in the bathtub? 
  • Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day: 11 http://www.brownielocks.com/learnyournameinmcday.html  Find library books about Morse Code.    Is Morse Code used any more?  Why or why not?
  • Religious Freedom Day: 16 Name religious holidays.  Name different religions.  Select a street in your hometown.  How many places of worship are on this street?  Has there been any crime at one of these churches?  If so, tell about it.  Why do you think someone would target a church with violence?  What books can you find about this topic?
  • Cable Car Day: 17  Have you ever ridden a cable car?  Where?  Name a book or movie with a cable car in it.
  • Kid Inventors’ Day:  17  What invention would help you most at school?  What would you like to invent?
  • Thesaurus Day: 18  What is a thesaurus?  Name three ways a thesaurus could help you with homework assignments.  What websites could you use?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PeterMarkRoget
  • Martin Luther King Day: 20   In Martin Luther King’s famous speech, he says, “I have a dream.”  What is “the dream?”  How can you do to help “the dream” come true?  
  • Popcorn Day: 19 Popcorn is my favorite snack.  What’s yours?  Have you ever popped corn on the stove, in a popper, over a fire?  Ask your friends.  What favorite memory includes eating popcorn?
  • Penguin Awareness Day: 20  Have you ever imagined that penguins were in your yard? I have.  What would you do if it were true?  Research penguin facts to make your tale more accurate, even though it’s fiction.  Check here:  http://www.insideseaworld.com/celebrate-penguin-awareness-day-seaworld-san-diego Tell your story to someone.  Enjoy being a story teller.
  • Inauguration Day: 21 What does the word “inauguration” mean?  Will you watch it on television?  Pretend you are attending in person.  How would you get there?  Where would you sit/stand?  What would you wear?  Research and learn more about the day.
  • National Hugging Day: 21 What is a “bear hug?”  What is a “tree hugger?”  Name a song, poem, story, or novel with a hug mentioned.  Who will you hug today?  Research the origin of this day:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Hug_Day
  • National Compliment Day: 24  Do you thank the person who compliments you?  Name a compliment you gave recently.  Should a compliment be sincere?  Is there ever a time when it’s okay to give a “white lie?”
  • National Seed Swap Day: 25 (Last Saturday)  What is a seed swap?  Where would you think a seed swap would be held?  Why would this be celebrated?  What type seeds do you imagine are swapped? Check here for one event:   http://mcg.metrocreativeconnection.com/publish/sections/calendar-details.php?National-Seed-Swap-Day-1078
  • Auschwitz Liberation Day: 27 Link  What is Auschwitz famous for?  Have you read books on this topic?  Have you seen documentaries or visited museums with special exhibits on this topic?  Research to learn more.  Share what you learned with someone.
  • National Kazoo Day: 28 Link  Have you ever played a kazoo at school, at home, or with a choir?  Read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss and change the words to say where you will or will not play a kazoo.  Have fun.

 Special Weeks in January… 

  • New Year’s Resolutions Week: 1-4  Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?  Do you have success keeping them?  If not, do you know anyone who makes resolutions and keeps them?  Ask them how they do it.
  • National Vocation Awareness Week: 13-19  What jobs do you know of that didn’t exist ten years ago?  Make a list.  Do you know someone in this line of work?  Perhaps a Career Day could be planned for your class at school.  
  • Bald Eagle Appreciation Days: 18-19  Where can bald eagles be found in the world?  Have you ever watched one on a webcam?  Here is a mother bald eagle on a nest in the snow.  http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/41377241/highlight/442450
  • I know someone who set up a webcam to watch turkey vultures in a hollow of a tree.  Check here to see:
  • http://thebackdoorartist.com/2013/04/22/turkey-vulture-shift-change/ 
  • No Name Calling Week: 20-24 Do you have a brother or a sister?  Have you ever tried to go a whole day without calling each other names?  Were you successful?  If so, what helped?  Discuss this with others.  Share techniques that work.  
  • National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Week: 27-2/1  Any idea how this week got started?  I can imagine cowboys sitting by the camp fire swapping tall tales, but not poetry.  What is “cowboy poetry?”  Check out David Harrison’s  cowboy poems.  Read an interview here:  http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com/2012/04/5q-poet-interview-series-david-harrison.html
  • US National Snow Sculpting Week: 29-2/8 Have you ever had someone forward you an email with snow sculptures?  Have you ever made a snow sculpture?  What was it?  Check this site for photographs:  http://www.squidoo.com/national-snow-sculpting-week
  • January brings…

  • Book Blitz Month  Ask everyone in your family to participate in “Book Blitz Month.”  Check out a stack of books each and read, read, read.  If one title is read by everyone in the family, you could hold a book club of your own this month.  
  • Get Organized Month  After Christmas, many stores have sales on storage boxes and organizers.  Think what you’d like to organize.  I bought an inexpensive weekly planner for my writing projects.  I’m excited about trying things a little differently.
  • National Soup Month  What if you try a different kind of soup this month?  I’ve heard of people who take labels off soup cans and choose one to eat.  Would you be a good sport and eat it no matter what it was?  Are you familiar with Andy Warhol’s soup can art?  See here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell%27s_Soup_Cans
  • Here’s the Campbell’s Soup Company website:  http://www.campbellsoup.com/
  • International Brain Teaser Month  What is a brain teaser?  There are many kinds.  My grandfather used to ask riddles that challenged my brain.  What type brain teasers have you tried?  Have you ever invited friends over for brain teaser games?  It might be fun on a cold winter day with no snow.  Here’s an article about creating crossword puzzles:  http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/235734051.html
  • International Creativity Month  Choose a January calendar date listed here and celebrate using your own choice of activities.  

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for January celebration information.  For more, check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/january.htm 

Let’s talk:  Choose one or more of the conversation starters above and leave a comment.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

I appreciate any children who visit this site, but if you are 13 or under, you must not leave a comment. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm  Perhaps an adult would comment for you.

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

 
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